By Julius Mugaga Tukacungurwa/KMA Updates.
Makerere University, Uganda: “We can only use humanities to build the character of the society,”. Says Prof. Umar Kakumba at the closing ceremony of the International Humanities Conference 2022 at Makerere University. Dr. Umar Kakumba the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs for Makerere University speaks at the climax of the International Humanities Conference, 2022. Photo by Julius Mugaga Tukacungurwa.
The conference which ran for four days (23rd -26th) of August, 2022 was organized under the theme: – Knowledge Revolution and Practices: Area, Cultural and Global Studies.
Prof. Umar Kakumba, the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs at Makerere University underscored the role of humanities and social sciences.
“Humanities and social sciences bring out the realities in society because they are about the livelihood of the people and community. It is about service to the nation, society and humanity in general. The Humanities interrogate and challenge the status quo,” he said.Panelists are seen at the last day of the International Humanities Conference 2022 at Makerere University, Uganda. Photo by Julius Mugaga Tukacungurwa.
In agreement with panelists namely Goretti Kyomuhendo, Alex Mukulu, Carol Beyanga, Sherinnah Namata and Prof. John C. Munene, Professor Umar Kakumba stated, we can build a desirable society through the humanities and social sciences.
He noted that Uganda’s culture is under threat because of the proliferation of many cultures both good and bad, and called upon the conference participants to use the power of humanities to redeem it.
He revealed that part of Makerere University’s initiative is leveraging its potential and wealth of experience in liberal Arts, education and research to collaborate with eminent Universities and partnerships to offer distinct programs and research opportunities to outstanding students in order to elevate University’s reputation as an institution and society to a better level.(L-R) Dr. Umar Kakumba the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs for Makerere University (2nd L), Prof. Josephine Ahikire the Principal of College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Makerere University (Centre) and other staff share joy at the climax of the International Humanities Conference, 2022. Photo by Julius Mugaga Tukacungurwa.
Alex Mukulu, a renowned theatre personality who was one of the panelists at the climax of the conference revealed that humanities have a component of ‘plays’ that clearly bring out the character of society.
He added that theatre should build stories that bring out characters that we ought to admire, emulate or look the good that we would like to associate with.
He says this educational role of theatre has slowly faded and is being replaced by comedy which has diluted it.(L-R) John Chrysestomus Munene of Makerere University Business School, Alex Mukulu, renowned theatre personality on the panel at the climax of the International Humanities Conference, 2022. Photo by Julius Mugaga Tukacungurwa.
“Therefore there is need for us to rebel against what is happening to us. There is need for a process because there are many things happening for example our children are watching unpleasant stuff and some are doing unacceptable things in society due to the negative influence of pornography, ”. Said Mukulu.
Panelist Professor John C. Munene cautioned that once one has no identity and character to follow then there is a serious challenge to the values of society and the moral fabric in general.
“So now, how do we build our identity, everything can be psychologized, what identifies what you want to be?, The next level is becoming literate, you need to track where you came from and this will inform where you’re heading”. Prof. John C. Munene told the participants.Dr. Umar Kakumba the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs for Makerere University signs on the book as Prof. Josephine Ahikire the Principal of College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHUSS) at Makerere University as other staff express excitement. Photo by Julius Mugaga Tukacungurwa.
He blamed the nature of education that Uganda succeeded from colonialists that wanted Ugandans to become intermediary products, – through learning the few things taught to us and follow their orders.
Prof. Munene advised that we should strive hard to penetrate through the ceiling for Ugandans and Africans in general to strategically observe where we went wrong.